With federal funding, Gemstone Biotherapeutics is eying development of the next generation of its wound-healing technology.
The Federal Hill startup is developing treatments that enable skin regeneration without scars.
Recently, the company received a $225,000 Small Business and Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation. The Phase I grant from the program dubbed “America’s Seed Fund” will help further development of the startup’s technology, which was licensed from Johns Hopkins University, toward commercialization, said Gemstone CEO Emily English.
The startup is looking to develop a synthetic treatment for wounds that are irregularly shaped, so that the material conforms to an injury’s unique size, shape and depth. It would mark an expansion of the product pipeline for the company beyond an initial treatment that it is working to bring to market. The first product is designed to heal wounds where the site of the wound is of a pre-determined size.
“Because that is really well planned at this point and we’re executing against our plan, it gives us a little bit of space to think about our pipeline in more detail,” said English.
Along with funding, English said the startup will also benefit from access to mentors in NSF’s network.
“The award process through NSF is highly competitive, so we are honored and excited to be recognized among those leading scientific discovery,” English said. “The funding, as well as the guidance and expertise of the NSF, will be critical in moving our technology to market.”
The company has offices in South Baltimore, and utilizes lab space at Johns Hopkins’ FastForward 1812 innovation hub at the university’s East Baltimore hospital campus.